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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry Invented Forms Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercises for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. I have included the syllabic invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with. Amaranth is an invented verse form that was probably created as a teaching tool by Viola Gardner. It makes deliberate use of the 9 most common metric feet. Each line is one metric foot, the pattern changing from line to line. The elements of the Amaranth are: 9 line strophe. It is a stand-alone poem. metric, the 9 most common metric feet are used in sequence. L1 Spondee SS L2 Iamb uS L3 Pyrrhic uu L4 Dactyl Suu L5 Trochee Su L6 Amphimacer SuS L7 Choriamb SuuS L8 Anapest uuS L9 Amphibrach uSu rhymed at the discretion of the poet, although the metric restrictions are probably enough to contend with in this verse form. On the Cross by Judi Van Gorder Behold! I am without sinfulness. Blameless, innocent guileless, bereft pleasing God forever. Amphion, another 20th-century American verse form invented as a teaching tool. It alternates tetrameter lines with dimeter lines, created by Viola Berg. The elements of the Amphion are: a 10 line poem. metered, tetrameter lines alternate with sets of rhymed dimeter couplets. Rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaccdeed. Super Bowl Sunday by Judi Van Gorder A day of football at its end, the bowls of chips and gooey dips. Emotions now are on the mend the ups and downs the fan base clowns. The black and gold have got the win, the players crow, the losers go their loss is carried on the chin. Analogue is a metered invented form that is limited to 3 rhymes. Its source is Rena Ferguson Parks a 20th century poet and educator. The elements of the Analogue are: a 9 line poem. metric, all lines are iambic pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaabbcc. Arabesque created by Lucille Evans features head rhyme (rhyme at the beginning of the line) in couplets. The end words rise and fall.The elements of the Arabesque are: stanzaic, written in any number of couplets. metric in pattern but no line length is required. The beginning metric foot of each line is a trochee Su, subsequent feet at the discretion of the poet until the end foot of each line which are alternately trochee (falling or feminine) and iamb (rising or strong). Lines should be of equal length. rhymed, head rhyming couplets (rhyme at the beginning of the line). Sample by Judi Van Gorder Aching with a need to be sleeping, making my fingers continue to type. Writing a poem to be an example, fighting fatigue, can't help but gripe. Arkaham Ballad can be identified by the last line of each stanza being repeated as the first three metric feet of the next stanza. One more invented stanza form appears to be a teaching tool created by Queena Davidson Miller. It is not really a ballad but is suited to relate current events and news articles. The elements of the Arkaham Ballad are: stanzaic, written in any number of cinquains. accentual syllabic, iambic, L1, L3, L4 tetrameter and L2 and L5 trimeter. rhymed, rhyme scheme xabba xcddc xeffe etc. x being unrhymed. composed with L5 repeated as the 1st three metric feet of L1 of the next stanza. suited to current events and the news. Police Shooting by Judi Van Gorder They say an unarmed man was shot by cops who've run-a-muck. A family man who cut some hair and shaved a face or two. A pair of punks high-jacked a truck. The punks highjacked a truck and he was at the same address, police arrived and shots were fired, the barber hit and soon expired The why of it a guess. The Boutonniere seems to be an exercise in writing in catalectic trochaic meter. In other words, the stress comes first in each metric foot, but the last foot of the line, drops the last unstressed syllable. Trochaic tetrameter would be Su / Su/ Su/ Su. Catalectic trochaic tetrameter would be Su/Su/Su/S. Created by Ann Byrnes Smith. The elements of the Boutonniere are: written in 13 lines. metric, catalectic trochaic tetrameter. Su/Su/Su/S. rhymed, rhyme scheme A¹A² bbcccbddd A¹A². refrained, L1 is repeated as L12 and L2 is repeated as L13. Cali Fire Storm by Judi Van Gorder Running, running, running race, fire in flicking, licking pace. Roar of winds are whirling loud, crack and boom of heated shroud. Giant trees engulfed in flame, grass and houses all the same, human life, a piece of the game. Rushing storm in smoky cloud, choking, burning eyes and skin. Treasures lost, devoured within moments. Time and life a spin. Running, running, running race Fire in flicking, licking pace. The Briolette was invented in the 1950s by Viola Berg. The elements of the Briolette are: stanzaic, can be composed in any number of cinquains made up of a triplet and a rhyming couplet. metric, iambic tetrameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme aaabb cccdd etc. Briolette of India by Judi Van Gorder The Maharajah claimed it cursed the diamond cut to quench a thirst. King Richard, Lion Hearted, erst would take the gem on his crusade, a brilliance which will never fade. Canopus is an invented verse form which stresses a "continuous flow of thought". This is attributed to author Clement Wood of The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poet's Craft Book 1936. Canopus is also the 2nd brightest star in Earth's sky, though not visible to anyone living above latitude 37 degrees north of the northern hemisphere. The elements of the Canopus are: a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines. metric, written in iambic pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme ababcbc. South of Latitude 37 by Judi Van Gorder Caryotte (French - carrot, a root vegetable) is also a verse form which is an exercise in meter and rhyme created by Robert Cary. The short, 2 foot lines with head and tail rhyme seem best suited for a List Poem of sorts. The elements of the Caryotte are: a 12 line poem, made up of 6 couplets. metric, dactylic dimeter with the 2nd foot catalexus (dropping an unstressed syllable.)Suu / Su composed with head and tail rhyme in each couplet. Rhyme scheme a-b a-b c-d c-d e-f e-f g-h g-h i-j i-j k-l k-l. Below, bold=stressed syllable... In English, rhyme should on the stressed syllable. sing and rising do not rhyme. singing and ring do rhyme. axx bx axx bx cxx dx cxx dx exx fx exx fx gxx hx gxx hx ixx jx ixx jx kxx lx kxx lx The Cyle appears to be an exercise in meter and rhyme. This invented verse form was created by Paul Emile Miller. The elements of the Cycle are: metric, L1 and L3 tetrameter made up of a trochee followed by a dactyl and 2 iambs; L1 and L3 often use feminine end words. L2 and L4 are iambic trimeter. "Pathways" description and example are in conflict, the description of meter here fits with the example poem. stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains. rhymed, abab cbcb dbdb. The Decannelle was made popular in 1949 when it was published in a poetry magazine. It was created by Joseph Nutter. The odd numbered lines have unrhymed feminine endings, while the even number lines have rhymed masculine endings. The elements of the Decannelle are: a decastich, a poem in 10 lines. metered, trochaic tetrameter, alternating 8-7-8-7-8-7-8-7-8-7 syllables causing the odd numbered lines to end with feminine end words. rhymed, xaxaxaxbxb with the x being unrhymed. Deaf Tones by Judi Van Gorder Beethoven, romantic genius, Maestro plays from deep inside. Music deigned to reign forever fingers flick and stroke then glide over and under the tenor octave tones that flow as if the tide. Swelling sonics soar and pulses race along unsanctified. Never halting ever daunting hearing gone, continued stride. Decathlon (Greek= contest of 10)) is said to be "suited to the fervid, the triumphant", created by Anne Pendleton. An exercise in meter and rhyme. The elements of the Decathlon are: a decastich, a poem in 10 lines. metered, L1, L2, L4, L6,L7 are tetrameter, L3, L5,L8 are dimeter, L9-L10 are pentameter (a heroic couplet. rhymed, axbxaccbdd. X being unrhymed. Decathlon-Invented Form by Judi Van Gorder The fervid and triumphant due, creating frame by predesign. Artistic try to write ten lines into a tome that's something new with book of words that match and rhyme entice to waste way too much time. Now shorten line and finish with iambic rhyming two, heroic couplet read on white in blue. The Dickson Nocturne seems to be an exercise in meter. It was created by Margaret Ball Dickson who at one time was head of Creative Writing at Valparaiso University, Indiana. The elements of the Dickson Nocturne are: strophic, a 12 line poem made up of a tercet, a quatrain and a cinquain. L1,L2, L4, L5, L6, L8, L9, L11 are dactylic trimeter, some catalectic (dropping a syllable at the end) and L3,L7,L10,L12 are iambic dimeter. L3, L7 and L12 are a repeated refrain. The Dionol created by Dion O'Donnell is another exercise in meter. This form employs a rentrament which is the repetition of a phrase from one line as a line elsewhere in the poem. The elements of the Dionol are: an octave with a rentrament as an added line, the last phrase of L2 is repeated as L9. metered, iambic pentameter with L9 iambic trimeter. abcddcbab. xx xx xx xx xa xx xx rr rr rb xx xx xx xx xc xx xx xx xx xd xx xx xx xx xd xx xx xx xx xc xx xx xx xx xb xx xx xx xx xa rr rr rb Dr Stella is a verse using sequential rhyme. It was developed by James Gray in honor of Dr Stella Woodall who was at one time president of the American Poetry League and editor of a couple of poetry magazines. The elements of the Dr Stella are: an octave made up of 2 quatrains. metered, alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter. rhymed, abcdabcd. L2 and L6 have feminine end words. The Dorsimbra seems to have been a collaborative project. Created in 3 parts by 3 poets, Frieda Dorris, Robert Simonton and Eve Braden. The elements of the Dorsimbra are: a 12 line poem, made up of 3 different framed quatrains. composed with the first quatrain metered, iambic pentameter, the second quatrain, 4 lines of free verse, and the third quatrain blank verse, which is unrhymed iambic pentameter. rhymed, Abab xxxx xxxA. L1 is repeated as the refrain in L12. The Douzet is a verse form with a unique rhyme scheme in the last quatrain. An exercise in meter and rhyme found in Pathways but is attributed to an unknown which Berg found in Clement Wood's Poet's Craft Book 1936, a book I have yet to get my hands on. The elements of the Douzet are: a 12 line poem made up of 3 quatrains. metered, iambic pentameter. abba cddc abcd. The Duni has a complicated metric pattern and includes a pivot or change of thought in L6. Created by Mildred Dewey. The elements of the Duni are: a heptastich, 7 line poem. metric, L1 1 dactyl followed by 2 trochees and an Iamb L2 3 iambs L3 a trochee followed by an anapest and 2 iambs L4 3 iambs L5 3 iambs L6 4 iambs L7 1 iamb, followed by an anapest and an iamb composed with a pivot or change of thought in L6. rhymed, rhyme scheme abcacba. The Fialka is a strophic form with little restriction other than meter. The form was created by Viola Garner 20th century poet and educator. Fialka is Viola in Bohemian. The elements of the Fialka are: strophic, may be written in any number of lines. metric, written in amphibrach (short/long/short) trimeter. unrhymed. Open Blinds by Judi Van Gorder We wake with the warmth of the sunshine that falls without hesitant sureness across our disheveled covers and greets our awakening gently. The Frieze is a verse form that appears to be an exercise in feminine rhyme. Attributed to Olivia Freeman. The elements of the Frieze are: a poem in 9 lines. metered, iambic trimeter. composed with L2, L4, and L8 with feminine ending. rhymed, rhyme scheme abcbacabc. The Gardenia is a verse form that focuses on the amphibrach like the Fialka only in shorter lines. Created by Viola Gardner. The elements of the Gardenia are: a decastich (10 line poem) made up of 5 couplets. metered, amphibraic dimeter (2 amphibrachs) rhymed, aabbccddee. The La Velle is a verse form that combines couplets and triplets and was created by Nel Moldglin.The elements of the La Velle are: a poem in 15 lines, made up of 3 couplets and 3 triplets beginning with a couplet followed by 3 triplets and ending in 2 rhymed couplets. metered at the discretion of the poet. rhymed, each stanza is monorhymed, rhyme scheme aa bbb ccc ddd ee aa. The first and last couplets carry the same rhyme. The Lady's Slipper is a verse form that plays with internal rhyme within a very short line. The tiny poem with the close rhyme lends itself to silliness. It was originated by Viola Gardner The elements of The Lady's Slipper are: a tristich, a poem in 3 lines. metered, iambic trimeter lines. uS-uS-uS. composed with internal rhyme in each line. designed for the last line to leave the reader thinking, questioning. Training Day by Judi Van Gorder Within the open pen a filly kicks and tricks a cowgirl with a curl. Refilled by Judi Van Gorder I stand upon our land in awe of every flaw and virtue, I'm renewed. The Latova which I can only assume was created by the book author Viola Berg. This invented verse form appears to be an exercise in trochaic meter. The elements of the Latova are: a poem in 18 lines made up of 2 9 line stanzas. metered, trochaic tetrameter, the final foot of each line is catalectic. (drop the last unstressed syllable) rhymed, rhyme scheme abbcccbaa deefffedd. The Laurel is another invented verse form created by Viola Berg that switches meter and rhyme between stanzas. The elements of the Laurel are: a poem in 24 lines, made up of 4 sixains. metric, L1, L3, L4, L5 are iambic tetrameter, L2 and L6 are iambic trimeter. rhyme, abcccb adeeed fghhhg fijjji. the trimeter lines are indented. The Louise is a stanzaic form that seems to be an exercise in using feminine and masculine endings. It was created by Viola Berg. The elements of the Louise are: stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. metric. L1, L2, L3 are pentameter (5 metric feet), L4 is iambic dimeter (2 metric feet) composed with L1 and L3 with feminine (unstressed) endings. rhymed. L2 and L4 rhyme. Rhyme scheme xaxa xbxb etc x being unrhymed. Land Ho! by Judi Van Gorder So long ago, adventure for a sailor, with well supplied, staunch ships Columbus sailed without a means to navigate the water New land they hailed. Lyra Chord is an invented verse form created by L. Ensley Hutton. The elements of the Lyra Chord are: an octastich. metered, L1,L2,L3,L5,L7 & L8 iambic pentameter, L4 & L6 iambic dimeter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abbcacdd. L1 & L5 also have internal rhyme. The Lyrelle is a stanzaic form that seems to be an exercise in metric line length. It was created by Velta Myrtle Allea Sanford. The elements of the Lyrelle are: stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. metered, iambic. L1 dimeter, L2 trimeter, L3 tetrameter, L4 pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abab Lyrelling by Judi Van Gorder I'm late again I am computer bound the words I write in meter penned, although in truth I do not like the sound. Medallion is an invented verse form is a shape poem using predominantly trochaic meter. This form was created Lilian Mathilda Svenson.The elements of the Medallion are: a poem in 9 lines. metric, L1-L8 are trochaic and L9 is iambic. Syllables per line 4-7-8-7-9-10-9-7-4. As you can tell from the odd numbered syllable count of L2, L4, L5, L7 & L8, these lines are either catalectic or acephaletic (dropping either the end syllable or first syllable from the line). For this form, although it is not so instructed, the example poem is catalectic. rhymed, rhyme scheme xabccbadd. shaped. The poem should be centered on the page. Metric Pyramid is a verse form that builds a pyramid from the top down with lengthening metric feet per line, created by John Milton Smither. The elements of the Metric Pyramid are: a shape poem, center the poem on the page. an octastich, a poem in 8 lines. metric, graduated iambic metric feet in each line. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 metric feet per line. rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaabba. Neville is a verse form with a combination of trimeter and tetrameter lines, created in honor of Mrs. Neville Saylor by James B. Gray. The elements of the Neville are: a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines. metric, L1, L4, & L7 are iambic tetrameter and L2,L3,L5 & L6 are iambic trimeter. rhymed, rhyme scheme abbacca. Macy's Parade Day by Judi Van Gorder At times like these when nights are long and cold becomes a skean that stabs my flesh between my shoulder blades, the wind is strong. I bundle for the chill, wool scarf a codicil, then venture out to join the throng. The Palette creates a vivid word painting within a brief and lyrical poem. It is simply a short poem, using vivid imagery. This genre was specified by Viola Berg. There is no prescribed structure or rhyme. The only mandate is the poem should create a brilliant image in the reader's mind.The defining features of the Palette are: a word painting. framed at the discretion of the poet. Poor Man's Rhododendron by Judi Van Gorder A white blossom rounded with a blush, a hint of pale pink on the soft curve of each lazy petal that spreads wide to catch the sun's kiss. The Quinnette is "designed for the elfin or humorous or for nature themes." (that is the 2nd time I came across this statement in Pathways. ~~smile~~This was created by Ethelyn Miller Hartwich. The elements of the Quinnette are: a decastich made up of 2 quintains. metric, each quintain is written in trochaic tetrameter accept L3 which is trochaic trimeter. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabaaccbcc. The Quintanelle challenges the poet to write a complete sentence and break it into 5 metric lines with rhyme. This stanzaic form was introduced by Lyra Lu Vaile. The elements of the Quintanelle are: stanzaic, written in any number of quintains. metered, L1, L2, L5 pentameter, L3 dimeter and L4 trimeter. Each quintain should be one complete iambic sentence. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbb, ccddd etc. The Quintette is an invented verse form with an unusually placed refrain. It was created by Fay Lewis Noble.The elements of the Quintette are: a poem in 15 lines made up of 3 quintains. metric, stanza 1 & 3 are iambic pentameter, stanza 2 all lines are iambic, L1,L5 are dimeter and L3 is pentameter and L2,L4 are tetrameter. L1 of the 1st stanza is repeated as L3 of the 2nd stanza and L5 of the 3rd stanza. rhymed, rhyme scheme Ababb acAca dada. The Repete is an invented form similar to the Rondel. It was introduced by Viola Berg. Although it is 14 lines it does not pretend to be a sonnet. The elements of the Repete are: a quatorzain made up of an octave and a sestet. metric, iambic tetrameter. rhymed, turned on only 2 rhymes, rhyme scheme ABababAB ababAB L1 becomes a refrain repeated L7 & L13 and L2 is a refrain repeated in L8 & L14. The Ripple Echo is an invented stanzaic form that "begins and ends its stanzas with rhyming ripple and echo couplets". I am not quite what that means but it sounds fun. What I am sure of is, L2 and L8 of each octave are anapestic mono meter rhyming with the previous line. This form was introduced by L. Ensley Hutton. The elements of the Ripple Echo are: stanzaic, written in any number of octaves, made up of 4 rhymed couplets. metric, L1,L3,L4,L5,L6,L7 are catalectic trochaic tetrameter, L2 & L8 are anapestic monometer. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbccdd. L2 & L8 are indented. The Rosemary is an invented verse form that uses envelope quatrains. It was introduced by Viola Berg. The elements of the Rosemary are: a poem in 12 lines, made up of a rhymed couplet, 2 envelope quatrains followed by a rhymed couplet. metric, iambic pentameter. rhymed aabccbdeedff. L4,L5 and L8,L9 are indented. The Sacred Signia is an invented verse form is a decastich. Introduced by Viola Berg.The elements of the Sacred Signia are: a decastich, a poem in 10 lines. metric, L1,L3,L5,L7-L10 are iambic pentameter and L2,L4,L6 are iambic dimeter. rhymed, rhyme scheme ababcbccaa. San Hsien named for the three strings of a Chinese lute (sanxian = Chinese: 三弦, literally "three strings"), is another invented verse form in a decastich. It was created by Jessamine Fishback. The elements of the San Hsien are: a decastich, a poem in 10 lines. metric, iambic dimeter, two metric feet. L1 is acephaletic (drops the 1st unstressed syllable). rhyme, rhyme scheme ABbaccabBA. composed with a refrain, L1 & L2 are repeated as L9 & L10 in reverse. sanxian by Judi Van Gorder Seafonn (Anglo Saxon for seven) is a verse form named for its total number of lines, introduced by Elizabeth Maxwell Phelps .An argument is presented in the first 5 lines and the counter point in the ending couplet. A lot to jam into such a short frame. The elements of the Seafonn are: a heptastich made up of quintain followed by a couplet. metric, iambic tetrameter, with L2 and L5 catalectic. rhymed, abccb aa. Sestennelle is a stanzaic invented form introduced by Lyra LuVaile with a variable meter. The elements of the Sestenelle are: stanzaic, written in any number of sixains made up of 2 tercets. The original is 3 sixains. metric, iambic, L1&L4 a dimeter, L2&L5 are trimeter and L3&L6 are pentameter. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb ddeffe gghiih etc. suggested that the lines be centered. Sevenelle is a stanzaic invented form created by Virginia Noble which cannot only be found in "Pathways..." but is also in the Study and Writing of Poetry by Amy Jo Zook and Wauneta Hackleman, 1996. The elements of the Sevenelle are: stanzaic, written in no less than 2 septets, each made up of a rhymed couplet, tercet and couplet in that order. metric, iambic tetrameter. rhymed, aabbbCC ddeeeCC etc. composed with L6&L7 of the first stanza repeated as refrain in the last 2 lines of all subsequent stanzas. Sonnette appears to be an invented attempt to write a half sonnet, introduced by Sherman Ripley. The elements of the Sonnette are: a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines made up of a quatrain followed by a tercet. metric, iambic pentameter. rhymed, abba cbc. The Stellar is an invented stanzaic form framed in octaves and introduced by Viola Berg. The elements of the Stellar are: stanzaic, written in any number of octaves. metric, iambic L1-L4, & L8 are tetrameter, L5 & L6 are catalectic pentameter and L8 is dimeter. rhymed, ababccdd efefgghh etc. because L5 &L6 are catalectic, they have feminine endings. The Trillium is an invented verse form, a pentastich with long and short lines. The elements of the Trillium are: a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines. metric, iambic, L1 & L5 are trimeter and L2 - L4 are catalectic, hexameter. rhymed, abbba. because L2-L4 are catalectic they will have feminine endings. xx xx xa xx xx xx xx xx b xx xx xx xx xx xb xx xx xx xx xx b xx xx xa The Tulip is an invented verse form, a tetrastich with a combination of metric patterns. It was introduced by Viola Gardener. The elements of the Tulip are: a tetrastich, a poem in 4 lines. metric, L1 & L3 are iambic pentameter, L2 dimeter, a spondee followed by an amphibrach and L4 is dimeter, an iamb followed by an amphibrach. rhymed abab. because of the amphibrach foot at the end of L2 & L4 they have feminine endings. Starbucks by Judi Van Gorder The price of java going up and up Good God! Horrendous! The cost of coffee is four bucks a cup. The line, tremendous! The Virelet is an invented variation of the French Virelai and was introduced by Viola Berg. The elements of the Virelet are: stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. isometric with a stanzaic frame of long/short/long/short lines set by the first stanza. The actual metric length and pattern of the alternate lines is at the discretion of the poet. rhymed, interlocking rhyme abab bcbc cdcd etc. The Wavelet is an invented verse form alternating couplets and tercets and introduced by Marie L. Blanche Adams. The elements of the Wavelet are: poem in 12 lines made up of 3 couplets alternating with 2 tercets. metric, the couplets are catalectic iambic trimeter and the tercets are iambic tetrameter, rhymed, aabcbddeceff. The couplets are feminine rhymed dropping the stressed syllable at the end of the line. Zenith is a stanzaic form with meter and line length left to the discretion of the poet. It was introduced by Viola Berg. The elements of the Zenith are: stanzaic, written in any number of sixains. meter at the discretion of poet. rhymed, abcabc defdef etc.
Cali Fire Storm Running, running, running race, fire in flicking, licking pace. Roar of winds are whirling loud, crack and boom of heated shroud. Giant trees engulfed in flame, grass and houses all the same, human life a pawn in the game. Rushing storm in smoky cloud, choking, burning eyes and skin. Treasures lost, devoured within moments. Time and life a spin. Running, running, running race Fire in flicking, licking pace. ~~Judi Van Gorder A Boutonniere